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Interview with:

Priya Florence Shah [priyaflorence] 

What did you first read? How did you begin to write? Who were the first to read what you wrote?
I first started with Enid Blyton. She's still one of my favourite authors and I loved reading her works to my daughter. I started writing poetry at the age of 9. My first poem was called "The Storm" and my parents read it and liked it a lot. Unfortunately it was lost and I don't remember it anymore.
What is your favorite genre? Can you provide a link to a site where we can read some of your work or learn something about it?
My favourite genre to read is fantasy/fiction. My favourite genre as a writer is non-fiction. You can learn about my work at http://www.priyashah.com
What is your creative process like? What happens before sitting down to write?
I usually write best when I'm not sitting at my computer. I like writing in a cafe where I can look out at the world and day dream. I get my best ideas when I am outside, in the lap of Nature.
What type of reading inspires you to write?
Reading about problems that I have answers to or that I have experienced before is what inspires me to write. It comes from the need to contribute my tuppence to the larger base of knowledge out there.
What do you think are the basic ingredients of a story?
A good story comes from understanding the human condition, from not taking sides or making characters out to be black and white, from the emotion, the drama and the pathos of life on Earth.
What voice do you find most to your liking: first person or third person?
I like third person best. It allows you to write about your experiences without becoming overly involved in the outcome.
What well known writers do you admire most?
My favourite writers are Richard Bach, George R.R. Martin, Carl Sagan.
What is required for a character to be believable? How do you create yours?
A character needs to be flawed to be believable. Perfection is not something I believe in. If I created a character, she would have an understanding of life very close to my own.
Are you equally good at telling stories orally?
Not really. I am best when writing. I am not a good oral storyteller.
Deep down inside, who do you write for?
I write to empower myself and others, to look at life from a new perspective, to show that there are other ways of dealing with issues than the ones we are familiar with.
Is writing a form of personal therapy? Are internal conflicts a creative force?
I think all writing is partially therapeutic. Internal conflicts definitely create energy that can be channelled into creative power.
Does reader feed-back help you?
Definitely. I can never get enough of having reader feedback about my writing or my books. It helps me understand what readers are looking for and what changes I can make in my writing in future.
Do you participate in competitions? Have you received any awards?
No, i have not participated in competitions. I don't like comparing my writing to others. I prefer that it be assessed on its own.
Do you share rough drafts of your writings with someone whose opinion you trust?
Yes, I share all my drafts with my husband, Arun, who is also an excellent writer and editor. He gives me some great feedback.
Do you believe you have already found "your voice" or is that something one is always searching for?
I have a voice when it comes to non-fiction writing. But when it comes to writing fiction, I'm still searching.
What discipline do you impose on yourself regarding schedules, goals, etc.?
When working on a book, I take time out of my schedule to go sit in a coffee shop and write with pen and paper. I find the words flow best when I'm away from the computer. I usually only write as much as a chapter a day. I don't push myself and overdo it unless I feel especially inspired that day.
What do you surround yourself with in your work area in order to help your concentrate?
A cup of tea and a macaroon or two. I write in coffee shops with pen and paper.
Do you write on a computer? Do you print frequently? Do you correct on paper? What is your process?
I only print when I have a draft that is almost final. I use the print for proofreading and editing. I find it easier to edit print copy than digital copy.
What sites do you frequent on-line to share experiences or information?
I post articles on my own blogs and also on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.
What has been your experience with publishers?
I have always self-published, so I have no experience with print publishers.
What are you working on now?
Right now I'm taking a break from writing new books to focus on promoting the ones I've already written.
What do you recommend I do with all those things I wrote years ago but have never been able to bring myself to show anyone?
Go through them with a critical eye and refresh the stories or copy with the life experience you now have. Once you feel they are up to scratch, show them to a trusted friend. If they like it, take it to a publisher.

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Priya Florence Shah

[priyaflorence] Priya Florence Shah
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